S Africa vs Australia
Australia win by 245 runs
What a Test match. What a finish. Australia were ahead for virtually the entire match, but South Africa dug as deep as they could to try to grit their way to a draw in Graeme Smith's final international match. The set-up was virtually identical to that which occurred on the final day of the Test between these two teams in Adelaide, but there was to be no successful rearguard today. Ryan Harris, on a busted knee and also facing the possible end of his Test career, put in one final, brave effort to take 4 for 32 and secure the series win for Australia.
Over 134.3 - SA 265 all out
WICKETS! Australia win. They've done it! Dodgy knees or none, Ryan Harris has pushed himself one last time to secure a thrilling win. His first ball is a pinpoint yorker that slips through Steyn's defense, and his third curves in from round the stumps to shatter Morkel's stumps. Stunning.
Over 134 - SA 265/8 (Philander 51, Steyn 1)
Remarkable, gripping stuff. One simply doesn't know where to look. I, of course, have to toggle between the telly and my PC, but there are a few in the ground who can't bear to watch. Philander pokes, prods and leaves his way through another Johnson over. There's an optimistic lbw appeal, and Clarke calls for a review in desperation, but it's clearly missing leg. Spare a thought for Mitchell Johnson, who's bowled a whopping 34 overs.
Over 133 - SA 265/8 (Philander 51, Steyn 1)
Phew, another over down. Watson continues, and Steyn is happy to leave the ball well alone when it shapes away outside off. When it's on target, he right behind it. Just to add a little more pressure, Haddin is up to the stumps. There are cheers from the small crowd after every ball.
Over 132 - SA 265/8 (Philander 51, Steyn 1)
Vernon Philander goes to fifty with a glance to the fine leg boundary, but of vastly more importance are all the deliveries he's faced. At the end of this over from Johnson, he's faced 99. Seven overs remain.
Over 131 - SA 261/8 (Philander 47, Steyn 1)
Clarke's brought Watson make on with South Africa edging slowly towards safety. He finds the edge of Steyn's bat twice, but both edges are thick, played with soft hands, and go to ground well in front of the fielder. Watson also collects a tapped defensive drive with gusto, threatening to throw down the stumps as Steyn walks out. Tense, tense stuff.
Over 130 - SA 261/8 (Philander 47, Steyn 1)
Another one down, just 9 more overs to go. Philander sets himself with utter obduracy at the crease, a sweaty and sunburned Pattinson still steaming in with the old ball. He's bending his back and Philander has to ride some alarming bounce, but does so admirably.
Over 129 - SA 261/8 (Philander 47, Steyn 1)
Just 11 overs remain, and Clarke has brought Nathan Lyon back. He bowls to Steyn with a slip, a silly mid-off, a short leg, a short square leg and a leg slip (not to mention Haddin himself) all waiting for a chance. Steyn goes very deep to defend, right back on his stumps, but plays with bat in front of pad to tick off another over.
Over 128 - SA 261/8 (Philander 47, Steyn 1)
Australia are throwing absolutely everything they've got at Philander. He hops to defend another short one and wears a stinging blow on the glove - again - after which Pattinson switches to round the wicket to really signal his intent, bringing in a leg gully and a short leg. Bouncer after bouncer ensues, but Philander sees out the over.
Over 127 - SA 261/8 (Philander 47, Steyn 1)
Edged! But short of the slip cordon. Harris held the shine on the outside to reverse this one away from Steyn's bat, but it was played with soft hands and was very full, so the thick edge fell well short of the third slip. Harris, somehow, still has enough strength to hurry him with a bouncer to end the over. 12 more to go.
Over 126 - SA 261/8 (Steyn 1, Philander 47)
Pattinson replaces Johnson. He's also getting the ball to swerve in, late, through the air. Philander fends at a short-ish one to pick up two runs through square leg, but otherwise he's firm in defense.
Over 125 - SA 259/8 (Steyn 1, Philander 45)
Harris to Steyn, the bowler steaming in for one final effort. This is probably Harris' final hour as a Test cricketer. But it's also Graeme Smith's last hour as South Africa's Test captain, and that will be enough to motivate Steyn. He does well to reach forward and keep out six probing deliveries from Harris. It's definitely reversing.
Over 124 - SA 259/8 (Steyn 1, Philander 45)
It's not out! There is such drama unfolding at Newlands. Philander has a marauding Mitchell Johnson to deal with. Johnson's sixth ball is a searing, vicious bouncer and Philander can only flail blindly at it. The ball hits something, balloons off his chest and is caught by short leg. Aleem Dar gives it out, but Philander, who is down on the ground gripping his chest, asks for a review ... TV Umpire Illingworth has a good luck ... and gives it not out! The ball *did* hit the glove, but Vernon's hand wasn't on the handle when it did so. Such drama. And just to add a little more spice, there's a massive altercation between Clarke and Steyn at the end of the over. We're into the final hour people.
Over 123 - SA 259/8 (Philander 45, Steyn 1)
Brave stuff from Steyn. And, also, from Harris. Both men are battling injury, and both putting their bodies on the line out in the middle. Harris huffs and puffs his way through another over, and he has Steyn ducking for his life from a well-directed bouncer. Harris digs the next one in too, and this time Steyn wears it on the chest. Steyn can see the funny side, but this is intense.
Over 122 - SA 259/8 (Philander 45, Steyn 1)
Philander middles another glorious pull shot off Johnson, but this isn't an altogether convincing over for him. He ducks neatly under a bouncer, but when Johnson switches to round the wicket the real trouble starts. Philander fishes at one that bursts past the outside edge, and pokes at another that swings and dips after pitching to beat a diving Haddin behind the stumps.
Over 121 - SA 251/8 (Philander 41, Steyn 1)
Clarke tosses the ball to Steve Smith, which is a good gamble with Steyn on strike. Steyn can barely contain himself when Smith duly lobs down a long-hop, and spanks it straight to short midwicket, on the bounce. There's also a cry of "catch it!" when a straight delivery takes the inside edge, but Steyn does enough to survive.
Over 120 - SA 251/8 (Philander 41, Steyn 1)
WICKET! Duminy falls for the leg trap. Clarke had just moved a man into leg slip at the start of this over, and Johnson's first delivery looked like it would shoot down the leg side ... until Duminy glanced at it to present a sharp chance to Lyon at leg slip. He holds it, Australia celebrate and South Africa slip a little further.
Over 119 - SA 246/7 (Duminy 43, Philander 37)
Philander ticks another over off the list, staying deep in his crease to defend six deliveries from Nathan Lyon.
Over 118 - SA 246/7 (Duminy 43, Philander 37)
Crunch! Every so often Philander whips one of his shots out, as he does here with this powerful pull off Johnson. Sure, there's an element of risk, but such a shot also exudes the sort of confidence that will be absolutely vital to South Africa batting out these overs. By the way, there are 21 overs left.
Over 117 - SA 241/7 (Duminy 43, Philander 32)
Clarke cycles through his bowlers once again, and this time Nathan Lyon's name comes up. Like Clarke, he aims for the rough on and around Duminy's off stump, but also like Clarke, can't profit from this line of attack just yet.
Over 116 - SA 241/7 (Duminy 43, Philander 32)
There's a massive change in the pace and quality in the bowling from one over to the next, with Clarke bringing Mitchell Johnson back. MiJo must be fairly pooped, he's bowled 28 overs in the innings. Philander wafts nervously at a quick bouncer, but otherwise survives the over well enough.
Over 115 - SA 241/7 (Duminy 43, Philander 32)
Michael Clarke brings himself on for a twirl, aiming for the rough outside JP Duminy's off stump. But Clarke doesn't get as much action on the ball as he once did, and there's not a lot to threaten in the over.
Over 114 - SA 237/7 (Duminy 41, Philander 30)
Beamer! Philander presents the full face of the bat to a full one from Pattinson to add two more runs through mid-on, and then gets back and across to punch a length delivery through extra cover for four. But he's not at all ready to face the next ball, which is a savage beamer that arrows in on his fingers as he fends the ball away from his throat. It was surely accidental, and Pattinson apologizes straight away, but that will rattle Philander. The physio comes out to have a look, whips out his magic spray, and Big Vern is good to go.
Over 113 - SA 229/7 (Duminy 41, Philander 24)
Steve Smith returns to the attack and, as is his wont, mixes dipping, fizzing legspin with some utter tripe. Duminy is tested on his backfoot defense, but is then gifted with two rank long-hops and a full toss, all of which he hits for four. The partnership is now worth 56 - but more importantly it's eaten up 11 overs.
Over 112 - SA 217/7 (Duminy 29, Philander 24)
Ok, maybe I was wrong. It does, in fact, look like the ball is starting to reverse. Pattinson softens Philander up with a nasty short one, the batsman ducking into it to be struck a bruising blow to the ribs. Pattinson then goes very wide on the crease and shoots one in full, the late inward movement taking the ball past Philander's inside edge and *just* past the off stump. Close.
Over 111 - SA 216/7 (Duminy 28, Philander 24)
Harris is hiding the ball in his hands as he runs in to deliver, which signals that the Australians are starting to look for reverse swing. Or perhaps they just want South Africa to start thinking about reverse swing, as there doesn't seem to be much happening with the ball right now. Duminy and Philander pick up three singles in the over.
Over 110 - SA 213/7 (Duminy 26, Philander 23)
A couple of the men catching behind the bat are reshuffled in front of it as Philander continues to play his shots. Another Duminy single puts him on strike to Pattinson, and he immediately punches two runs through cover. That prompts a change in the field, with only two slips left in place, and Pattinson completes the over with a series of short deliveries.
Over 109 - SA 209/7 (Duminy 24, Philander 20)
Philander does, at least, look nice and relaxed at the crease. He's playing his natural game, and that's probably the right thing to do. When the ball's there to hit, he does so, and collects twos through midwicket and mid-off in this Harris over.
Over 108 - SA 204/7 (Duminy 23, Philander 16)
Pattinson shares the early duties after tea. He bowls with three slips and a gully to Duminy, who settles quickly into that high-elbowed, walking defense that's so characteristic. A controlled pull gives him a single to keep the strike.
Over 107 - SA 203/7 (Duminy 22, Philander 16)
We're back. One session remains, and Australia need three wickets. South Africa need to survive 33 overs, and do a good job of getting through the first, from Ryan Harris. Granted, Philander plays and misses at one which holds its line outside off, but there's none of the wild shot-playing we saw before tea.
Tea - SA 201/7 (Duminy 22, Philander 16)
Mind the windows Vernon! Philander hits a six off Johnson, but not in the manner you'd expect. The left-arm quick bangs a bouncer in halfway down, and Philander hooks at it, only for the top edge to fly straight over the wicketkeeper to be caught be a camera man beyond the boundary. A firm push brings him three more through mid-off, but Duminy focuses on surviving until tea and blocks out the over. And that takes us to tea at Newlands.
Over 105 - SA 188/7 (Duminy 22, Philander 7)
A peppy and upbeat Smith continues his spell after his wicket, tossing the ball high into the breeze as he looks for drift through the air and traction off the pitch. There's a bit of both, but his lengths vary wildly and there's no wicket-taking delivery in this over.
Over 104 - SA 187/7 (Duminy 22, Philander 6)
Duminy collects a brace of boundaries through the leg side off Johnson, and the second one is heartily applauded by none other than Michael Clarke. He wants Duminy playing shots like these. His first stroke was a controlled, swivelling pull through midwicket, and his second was a forehand slap past leg gully. The rest of the over is met with solid defense.
Over 103 - SA 179/7 (Duminy 14, Philander 6)
WICKET! Australia are closing in. After everything that's been hurled at him today, Faf du Plessis finally falls to Steven Smith's legspin. He pressed forward to the first delivery of the over, but his bat came down outside the line as it didn't turn as much as he expected. The Australians asked 'howzat?' and Umpire Dharmasena raised the finger. Du Plessis asked for a desperate review, but it simply confirmed his dismissal. It's 10 minutes until tea, and Australia need just three wickets.
Over 102 - SA 173/6 (du Plessis 47, Duminy 14)
Well, a delivery from Johnson to du Plessis keeps very low indeed, and the batsman does well to keep it out. We've not seen a lot of that - the pitch has played very true - but every now and then one has scuttled along the ground. Du Plessis nudges one off his pads for a single, and Duminy mirrors the shot shortly afterwards and is rewarded with four runs - though not without danger as there are men at short leg and leg gully.
Over 101 - SA 168/6 (du Plessis 46, Duminy 10)
Lyon's changes of pace and variations between side- and top-spin continue to test Duminy, who has to jab down very quickly on another delivery that comes in towards his pads from around the wicket. But his defense holds, and another over is ticked off.
Over 100 - SA 168/6 (du Plessis 46, Duminy 10)
Haddin comes up to the stumps to Watto, just to put a little more pressure on Faf du Plessis. The batsman's face is a picture of serene, emotionless concentration, and right now it seems there's no way past him. But one ball is all it takes ...
Over 99 - SA 168/6 (du Plessis 46, Duminy 10)
Close! Duminy's task, with the offspinner coming around the wicket, is to pick which ball will spin and which won't, and to play accordingly. That's not easy, and left-handers in particular can struggle to play quality offspin in these conditions. There's a moment of alarm for Duminy when he goes back and across to one which shoots on with the arm, but he's saved by an inside edge that - fortunately for him - doesn't go to a close catcher.
Over 98 - SA 168/6 (du Plessis 46, Duminy 10)
Watto continues, having changed ends. He's still got that bizarre leg-trap field in place. It seems more annoying than anything else, with so many fielders in odd positions in the batsman's eyeline, but I suppose that's the point: they're trying to upset du Plessis' concentration. It's not working, yet.
Over 97 - SA 168/6 (du Plessis 46, Duminy 10)
Clarke brings Nathan Lyon back once more. It's a good move, considering Duminy's past troubles against offspin. With du Plessis stepping back to hack a single to leg, Lyon comes round the wicket to the left-handed Duminy with a ring of men crouched around the bat. Lyon, as usual, is nicely accurate, but Duminy sees him off without much fuss and accepts a friendly gift of a full toss by tapping it through mid-on for four.
Over 96 - SA 163/3 (du Plessis 45, Duminy 6)
If you've watched a lot of cricket, you'll know that in other formats Duminy and du Plessis are two of the most electric batsmen going around. It can't be easy to quieten their attacking instincts, but they're doing a good job. After du Plessis collects another three runs through the vacan mid-on region off Pattinson, Duminy plays his first shot in anger to a short-ish ball on middle. He watches it right onto the bat, and his short-arm jab sends the ball bouncing away to the deep midwicket boundary.
Over 95 - SA 156/6 (du Plessis 42, Duminy 2)
Watson continues, bowling wicket-to-wicket. Du Plessis punctuates his defense with a single worked behind square on the leg side, and when Duminy blocks the last ball it's du Plessis on strike once more. He's taken virtually all of the strike in the last three overs.
Over 94 - SA 155/6 (du Plessis 41, Duminy 2)
Duminy gently nurdles a single through mid-on - just the second run of his innings - and Pattinson then lines du Plessis up. A series of length deliveries are kept out by a perpendicular bat, and du Plessis gets the bonus of three runs through mid-off via a very gentle push. With everyone catching around the bat, there's no-one there to stop the ball.
Over 93 - SA 151/6 (du Plessis 38, Duminy 1)
It's Watto time. Shane Watson replaces Harris, and he's given a very unorthodox field by Michael Clarke. There are three men catching close on the leg side ... in fact make that four. Short square leg, midwicket, short midwicket and short mid-on. Du Plessis' defensive bat renders them redundant, so Watson tries to double-bluff him with a bouncer. It's met with the absolute middle of a pull shot, however, and du Plessis has four more. And it's time for an isotonic refreshment at Newlands.
Over 92 - SA 147/6 (du Plessis 34, Duminy 1)
Pattinson charges through another over. The over-the-wicket angle and Pattinson's natural movement take the ball repeatedly away from the left-hander off the pitch, and he leaves a good few alone in the course of another maiden.
Over 91 - SA 147/6 (du Plessis 34, Duminy 1)
Harris extends his spell into its sixth over. He may have a break after this. With the bowler attacking the stumps, du Plessis collects 8 runs from the over - all of them through the leg side. He begins with a nudge for two, then adds a leg glance to long leg for four, and finally two more with a firm push through the vacant mid-on.
Over 90 - SA 139/6 (du Plessis 26, Duminy 1)
Johnson is still off the field, and he's been replaced in the attack by Pattinson. Australia's third seamer bangs the ball down repeatedly just short of a good length, and du Plessis guides a single behind point. Duminy's patience outside off stump is tested, but he doesn't play when he doesn't have to.
There's been talk around the scuffing-up of the ball and the issue of reverse swing from both of these two sides. What do you make of it all? Does throwing the ball in to the keeper on the bounce count as sharp practice for you? But don't all teams work on the ball? Send your responses to email@example.com
Over 89 - SA 138/6 (du Plessis 25, Duminy 1)
Mitchell Johnson leaves the field as Ryan Harris begins his next over. He didn't look to be struggling with any injury, so perhaps it's a comfort break. Harris continues his loose-wristed attack upon the stumps of the batsmen, snaking the ball this way and that as he attempts to land the decisive blow upon South Africa's batting line-up.
Over 88 - SA 137/6 (Du Plessis 24, Duminy 1)
Duminy is under attack, with Clarke keeping Johnson on to have a go at him. He's got a full slip cordon behind him on one side, and a short leg and leg slip on the other. Duminy fends one just short of the man at leg slip, and then has to duck his head down with life-saving haste to avoid a bouncer. What's worse, a couple of the Australians seem very keen to have a chit-chat with him out in the middle ...
Over 87 - SA 137/6 (du Plessis 24, Duminy 1)
Harris comes round the wicket to Duminy, and gives him the hurry-up with a couple of lifters on middle and off. Duminy's not the tallest man, but he's up on his toes to ride the bounce after being struck on the shoulder trying to duck one in Harris' last over. He's also off the mark with a tip-and-run single.
Over 86 - SA 136/6 (du Plessis 24, Duminy 0)
Johnson is not getting du Plessis playing quite as often as he'd like, the South African right-hander leaving more than once outside off stump in the course of a maiden.
Over 85 - SA 136/6 (du Plessis 24, Duminy 0)
WICKET! De Villiers has fallen. Australia have their breakthrough. There's not a lot that de Villiers did wrong with this delivery from Harris. It landed on an awkward length, on off stump, and he had to play. But it seamed away from him to take the edge, and Haddin held a simple catch. Australia need four more of those.
Over 84 - SA 136/5 (de Villiers 43, du Plessis 24)
There's not quite the same pace and bounce off this pitch on the fifth day. Du Plessis rocks back to send a short ball from Johnson screaming to the deep midwicket boundary, the ball pinging right off the middle of the bat. That's the only damage for the over. By the way, the Newlands has opened its gates to the public: entrance for the final afternoon is now free.
Over 83 - SA 132/5 (de Villiers 43, du Plessis 20)
Ryan Harris may have tired legs, but he's got enough juice in the tank to get this new ball wobbling about at good pace. De Villiers leans on his defense, but there's nothing he can do with a superb delivery that angles in, shaping gently, then hits the seam to leave him off the pitch. To his credit, he didn't follow the ball.
Over 82 - SA 132/5 (de Villiers 43, du Plessis 20)
As you'd expect, MiJo shares the new ball. He looks a little stiff and stilted in his first over, and his pace isn't quite what it could be. He attacks the stumps at first, and when he does bowl the bouncer it surprises du Plessis, who swivels to pull but bottom-edges the shot, the ball falling in front of Haddin. A backfoot punch signals du Plessis' confidence, the ball racing in front of cover point for four.
Over 81 - SA 126/5 (de Villiers 43, du Plessis 14)
Australia have taken the new ball as soon as it became available, and Ryan Harris will have first use of it. De Villiers find the hard, new pill to his liking as he clips a full one off his toes for four to midwicket, but Harris soon settles into the channel on or around off stump. These batsmen are going to have to keep their wits about them.
Grinding, attritional stuff at Newlands. The Australians eventually got past nightwatchman Kyle Abbott, who batted for over an hour and a half before he lost concentration and left a straight one from Pattinson. But they've now run head-on into the du Plessis/de Villiers wall. These two, as you may remember, do have a bit of history when it comes to epic rearguard actions. Find out if they can equal their efforts from the Adelaide Oval after lunch.
Over 80 - SA 122/5 (de Villiers 39, du Plessis 14)
De Villiers breaks the maiden chain by driving one out to the man at deep cover, and du Plessis has his eyes firmly focused on the upcoming lunch break. He even blocks back a high full toss from Smith - so high, in fact, that it's called a no-ball. Abdur Rehman bowled a couple of those the other day for Pakistan ... anyway, it's lunch at Newlands, with South Africa clinging stubbornly on.
Over 79 - SA 120/5 (de Villiers 38, du Plessis 14)
Lyon, like Clarke, alters his angle and harries the batsman from either side of the stumps. But du Plessis moves either extravagantly forward, to smother the spin, or back, to read it off the pitch, and defends well. No runs. Two minutes until lunch.
Over 78 - SA 120/5 (de Villiers 38, du Plessis 14)
Michael Clarke cycles between an over-the-wicket and round-the-wicket line of attack to de Villiers, but there's no way past him. Yet more defense, and another maiden.
Over 77 - SA 120/5 (de Villiers 38, du Plessis 14)
Lyon tacks yet another maiden onto his figures, and his second on the trot to du Plessis. The South African looks utterly solid in defense.
Over 76 - SA 120/5 (de Villiers 38, du Plessis 14)
Clarke is rotating through his spin options before lunch, and now brings himself back on. He starts well enough, and strings together five dots but then darts one in short and flat, and de Villiers steps back and across to punch through cover for four.
Over 75 - SA 116/5 (de Villiers 34, du Plessis 14)
Lyon also returns, and goes over the wicket to du Plessis. As has been the case, Lyon gets more bounce than turn, and du Plessis makes sure to cover it as he defends. A maiden. Ten minutes to go until lunch.
Over 74 - SA 116/5 (de Villiers 34, du Plessis 14)
Steve Smith returns with his mixed bag, which in this over includes a rank long-hop that de Villiers simply can't resist. He moves into the 30s with a slap to deep midwicket for four.
Over 73 - SA 112/5 (de Villiers 30, du Plessis 14)
Despite the very defensive approach from the batsmen, the wildly attacking field means there are plenty of gaps through which to score, even if one isn't really trying to do so. The vacant mid-off position is repeatedly breached by both batsmen in this over, with du Plessis aiming a checked-forward press through that region with superb timing to collect four. The runs, of course, are meaningless, but will help South Africa feel like they're making progress.
Over 72 - SA 104/5 (de Villiers 29, du Plessis 7)
Johnson continues, and he reckons he might be in with a shout when du Plessis hops across and shoulders arms to a length delivery that comes in a touch off the seam to hit the pad ... but the Umpire is unmoved, and replays confirm it was missing off. Three deliveries later there's another wobble from de Villiers, who wears a length delivery on the hip to spark cries of "catch it!" aimed at the short leg fielder.
Over 71 - SA 101/5 (de Villiers 29, du Plessis 4)
AB de Villiers is fairly deep in his crease, and stays deep to see another over from Pattinson off and close in on a double-Cowan. He's now faced 192 deliveries for his 29. Pattinson is definitely getting the ball to slant in through the air, but the Australians have not yet got the ball hooping. The new ball is 10 overs away.
Over 70 - SA 100/5 (de Villiers 28, du Plessis 3)
With everyone around the bat, du Plessis finds a single with a gentle push to the vacant mid-off position. The scoreboard ticks over once more as de Villiers nudges Johnson through point. By the way, the Australians are being very lackadaisical in their returns from the field, and the ball is being repeatedly bounced back to the keeper.
Over 69 - SA 98/5 (de Villiers 28, du Plessis 3)
What is it about Pattinson's line that's bringing about these crazy leaves? Now it's de Villiers shouldering arms to a straight-ish delivery that zips *just* past the stumps to have the Australians gasping. Pattinson is getting the ball to tail in through the air, with the shine.
Over 68 - SA 98/5 (de Villiers 28, du Plessis 3)
With the wicket, Clark brings back his strike bowler as Australia look to open up the incision. There are men all around the bat for du Plessis: Four slips, a gully, a short cover, short leg, backward short leg, short midwicket. Short leg is almost in action when Faf fends a rising, waspish delivery to leg, but the ball balloons over the fielder.
Over 67 - SA 98/5 (de Villiers 28, du Plessis 3)
WICKET! Abbott's gone! He'd resisted for over an hour and a half this morning, fronting up to all sorts of bowling. This was his first mistake, and it was a good one. Clarke brought Pattinson on, and his first delivery was aimed on a length and straight. Abbott stepped forward and raised his bat to leave, with the stumps exposed, and the ball shot straight on. Was he expecting swing? I think he's just misjudged it. Faf is off the mark with three runs through mid-on. The Adelaide Oval will be on his mind right now ...
Over 66 - SA 95/4 (de Villiers 28, Abbott 7)
Michael Clarke hustles through another over, but de Villiers is untroubled and blocks out a maiden.
Over 65 - SA 95/4 (de Villiers 28, Abbott 7)
De Villiers runs one off the face of the bat through the off side for a single, and Lyon comes round the wicket to Abbott. Lyon basically varies the pace and flight of just two deliveries: the offspinner and the arm-ball. There's some excitement for Australia when the second of these, the arm-ball, shoots straight on to beat Abbott's defensive bat. "Oh dearie me," remarks one of the close fielders.
Over 64 - SA 94/4 (de Villiers 27, Abbott 7)
Abbott breaks the run of maidens via an inside edge off Michael Clarke's left-arm spin. He was playing for the one that turned, but it didn't, and the inside edge went to ground and rolled to square leg. There's a screeching appeal when de Villers pads up to one that lands outside leg and turns across him, but it's quickly quelled.
Over 63 - SA 92/4 (de Villiers 27, Abbott 6)
I've lost count of how many maidens in a row we've had. Certainly at least five. Anyway, here's another one, from Lyon to de Villiers. Shuffle, block, repeat.
Over 62 - SA 92/4 (de Villiers 27, Abbott 6)
Limpet-like from Abbott. There's plenty of energy in Smith's action and his bowling, but it's repeatedly met with an inert, dead, defensive bat. This partnership has now extended beyond 150 deliveries, which is a fabulous effort.
Over 61 - SA 92/4 (de Villiers 27, Abbott 6)
Another watchful maiden from Lyon to de Villiers takes us to drinks. The pair at the crease have now added 24 runs in 24 overs.
Over 60 - SA 92/4 (de Villiers 27, Abbott 6)
When Smith does bowl the wicket-taking delivery, it's usually in the one-per-over bracket. He begins his sixth over with just such a delivery, the ball drifting in through the air, dipping at the last moment and then abruptly changing direction upon pitching to beat Abbott's bat. Abbott nudges a full ball back to Smith a short while later, only for the bowler to pick it up and have Abbott ducking for cover as he hurls it back to the keeper. Smith apologises, but that'll have woken everyone up from their turpor.
Over 59 - SA 92/4 (de Villiers 27, Abbott 6)
Yet another maiden. With the batsmen not looking to upset him, Lyon does at least have a chance here to work himself into a really good rhythm. He's landing the ball more consistently than Smith does, and though he doesn't get as much side-spin as the leggie, the bounce he extracts means the close fielders are always interested.
Over 58 - SA 92/4 (de Villiers 27, Abbott 6)
Smart batting from Abbott in this over. Despite the overwhelmingly defensive mindset, he's alert to the possibility to score when it presents itself, and slaps a Smith full toss down the ground for four. The legspinner switches to round the wicket, with men all round the bat and a nice patch of rough to aim at, and Abbott shows good composure to pick the wrong 'un and get right in line to defend it.
Over 57 - SA 88/4 (de Villiers 27, Abbott 2)
Lyon comes over the wicket to de Villiers, whose tactic to this line of attack from the offspinner is to shuffle repeatedly right across his stumps to defend. There's an optimistic lbw shout from Lyon et al when de Villiers walks across to off stump and then shoulders arms to one that hits him above the knee roll, but it's clearly missing off the the appeal is quickly turned down by Umpire Dharmasena.
Over 56 - SA 88/4 (de Villiers 27, Abbott 2)
Spin of a different sort now, Steve Smith being brought on. He's got two slips, a leg slip and a short leg in place. Smith just got a couple of deliveries to really grip and spin yesterday, so Abbott will continue to be challenged.
Over 55 - SA 87/4 (de Villiers 26, Abbott 2)
More pressure-filled bowling. Lyon switches back around the wicket, and there's a chorus of oohs and aahs when he gets one delivery to rush on with the arm and beat Abbott's outside edge. But the end result is one more over ticked off for South Africa.
Over 54 - SA 87/4 (de Villiers 26, Abbott 2)
Mitchell Johnson's not short of a word or two, but the ball he's bowling with has lost just about all of its hardness and shine now so de Villiers is unperturbed in his continued, dogged defense. Meanwhile, on the boundary, Shane Warne is chatting to Nathan Lyon. I wonder what that conversation is about.
Over 53 - SA 87/4 (de Villiers 26, Abbott 2)
Lyon switches to an over-the-wicket line of attack, the six catching fielders around Abbott and a chirpy Brad Haddin behind the stumps. The batsman's concentration continues to hold, and he brings up a half-Cowan in the course of the over, having now made 2 off 51 deliveries.
Over 52 - SA 87/4 (de Villiers 26, Abbott 2)
Johnson continues around the wicket to de Villiers, who defends from the crease but does so quite late and with the ball right underneath is eyes. De Villiers hasn't entirely cut out all shots just yet, and a firm push with a high left elbow brings four runs through the vacant extra cover. The response, predictably, is a bouncer.
Over 51 - SA 83/4 (de Villiers 22, Abbott 2)
Clarke swaps Harris for Nathan Lyon. The offspinner has a similarly attacking field, with two slips, a leg slip and a short leg around the bat. He comes round the wicket to de Villiers, who immediately hands the strike to Abbott. The nightwatchman appears unsure whether to go forward or back - at least first up - and Clarke quickly brings yet another fielder in at silly mid-off. But the defensive bat prevails, at least for one more over.
Over 50 - SA 82/4 (de Villiers 21, Abbott 2)
Australia build a cauldron of pressure around Abbott, with all 9 fielders positioned around the bat. There are four slips, and men catching close on either side of the wicket. Abbott continues to show admirable application, protecting his stumps and withdrawing his bat when a shot isn't necessary. He's got over 1,000 runs in First Class cricket, so he's got a modicum of talent as a tailender.
Over 49 - SA 82/4 (De Villiers 21, Abbott 2)
Harris' length yesterday was strictly full, but he's got the strength and pace to hurry even the best batsmen with his short ball. De Villiers bears the brunt in this over, dropping his hands and swaying inside the line where possible. But he's also struck on the shoulder by one which rises alarmingly, and has to hop to fend off the final delivery. Aggressive stuff.
Over 48 - SA 78/4 (De Villiers 21, Abbott 2)
Mitchell Johnson is brought on for the first time this morning, and his field to Abbott really sets a tone. He's got three slips, a short extra cover, a short leg, a leg slip and a leg gully. Oh, and he decides to come around the wicket, slamming the ball down repeatedly on a short length. But Abbott is equal to the task, and when the ball is pitched right up, he's aware enough to dig it out.
Over 47 SA 78/4 (De Villiers 21, Abbott 2)
It's AB's turn to face Harris for the first time this morning, and he does what Abbott did by enduring a maiden. Harris keeps his line tight, but dare we say he's looking a bit tired.
Over 46 SA 78/4 (De Villiers 21, Abbott 2)
Pattinson is banging it in, and AB has to block it off his ribs, but he turns away to refocus immediately after, ignoring the glares from the paceman. They take a single off the fifth ball as AB turns it off his pads, looking to keep strike for the next over. Abbot ducks under the final ball, no worries.
Over 45 SA 77/4 (De Villiers 20, Abbott 2)
Harris continues to Abbott. Just a reminded that if Oz win or draw here, they will go to second in the Test rankings, overtaking India. The Proteas are at no risk of being pushed off the summit. The hosts will be taking this over by over, hour by hour, until the end. Another maiden.
Over 44 SA 77/4 (De Villiers 20, Abbott 2)
Faf du Plessis can be seen in the change room, and is nearly required as De Villiers catches the edge off Pattinson. But it drops short of the slips and runs to the third man ropes. The scores are level with what it was at the start of day five in Adelaide in 2012 (77/4). AB blocks the final ball, French cricket style.
Over 43 SA 73/4 (De Villiers 16, Abbott 2)
Harris sends down a maiden as Abbott concentrates with all his might. He does nothing risky and is calm in the face of the pressure.
Over 42 SA 73/4 (De Villiers 16, Abbott 2)
Three slips and a gully, as well as a host of close-in fielders on the leg-side in place, as Pattinson begins the day. Line too straight, though, as Abbott steals away from the strike with a single pushed past mid-on. De Villiers closes out the rest of the over on the defence.
First Session, Day Five
Umpires Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena, batsman AB de Villiers and nightwatchman Kyle Abbott and the Australian XI head out to the middle for the start of play.
Glorious, sunny day in Cape Town, with the weather and pitch expected to remain true. Strap in for the ride, folks, it should be a veritable cracker.
Australia need six wickets and South Africa require 440 runs (unlikely) or to bat out three sessions (improbable). Meanwhile, tributes to the retiring Graeme Smith - and other opinions - welcome here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary on the fifth and final day of the third and final Test between South Africa and Australia at Newlands in Cape Town.
- 1st - 5th Mar 2014
- Australia won the toss and elected to bat.
- A S Dar, H D P K Dharmasena
- TV Umpire
- R K Illingworth
- Match Referee
- R S Mahanama
- Reserve Umpire
- A T Holdstock
s africa BATTING CARD
|A.N. Petersen||lbw Harris||9|
|G.C. Smith||c Doolan b Johnson||3|
|D. Elgar||b Johnson||0|
|H.M. Amla||lbw Pattinson||41|
|A.B. de Villiers||c Haddin b Harris||43|
|K.J. Abbott||b Pattinson||7|
|F. du Plessis||lbw Smith||47|
|J.P. Duminy||c Lyon b Johnson||43|
|V.D. Philander||Not out||51|
|D.W. Steyn||b Harris||1|
|M. Morkel||b Harris||0|
|Extras||5nb, 2w, 8b, 5lb||20|
|Total||All Out, 134.3 Overs||265|